conceit


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conceit,

in literature, fanciful or unusual image in which apparently dissimilar things are shown to have a relationship. The Elizabethan poets were fond of Petrarchan conceits, which were conventional comparisons, imitated from the love songs of Petrarch, in which the beloved was compared to a flower, a garden, or the like. The device was also used by the metaphysical poetsmetaphysical poets,
name given to a group of English lyric poets of the 17th cent. The term was first used by Samuel Johnson (1744). The hallmark of their poetry is the metaphysical conceit (a figure of speech that employs unusual and paradoxical images), a reliance on
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, who fashioned conceits that were witty, complex, intellectual, and often startling, e.g., John Donne's comparison of two souls with two bullets in "The Dissolution." Samuel Johnson disapproved of such strained metaphors, declaring that in the conceit "the most heterogeneous ideas are yoked by violence together." Such modern poets as Emily Dickinson and T. S. Eliot have used conceits.

Conceit

Ajax
(the lesser) boastful and insolent; drowns due to vanity. [Gk. Myth.: Kravitz, 14]
Bunthorne, Reginald
fleshly poet; “aesthetically” enchants the ladies. [Br. Lit.: Patience]
Butler, Theodosius
thinks he is a wonderful person. [Br. Lit.: Sketches by Boz]
Collins, Mr.
pompous, self-satisfied clergyman who proposes to Elizabeth Bennet. [Br. Lit.: Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice]
Dalgetty, Rittmaster Dugald
self-aggrandizing, pedantic soldier-of-fortune. [Br. Lit.: Legend of Montrose]
Dedlock, Sir Leicester
contemplates his own greatness. [Br. Lit.: Bleak House]
Dogberry and Verges
ignorant and bloated constables. [Br. Lit.: Much Ado About Nothing]
Grosvenor, Archibald
idyllic poet of no imperfections. [Br. Lit.: Patience]
Henry VIII
inflated self-image parallels bloated body. [Br. Lit.: Henry VIII]
Homer, Little Jack
pats his back with “What a good boy am I!” [Nurs. Rhyme: Mother Goose, 90]
Keefe, Jack
baseball pitcher is a chronic braggart and self-excuser suffering from an exaggerated sense of importance. [Am. Lit.: Lardner You Know Me Al in Magill III, 1159]
Lewis
self-important coxcomb full of hollow, ostentatious valor. [Br. Lit.: Henry V]
Malvolio
Olivia’s grave, self-important steward; “an affectioned ass.” [Br. Lit.: Twelfth Night]
Montespan, Marquis de
regards exile and wife’s concubinage as honor. [Br. Opera: The Duchess of la Valliere, Brewer Hand-book, 721]
narcissus
flower of conceit. [Plant Symbolism: Flora Symbolica, 170; Gk. Myth.: Zimmerman, 171–172]
nettle
symbol of vanity and pride. [Flower Symbolism: Flora Symbolica, 176]
Orion
scorpion stung him to death for his boasting. [Rom. Myth.: Brewer Dictionary, 971]
Prigio, Prince
too clever prince; arrogance renders him unpopular. [Children’s Lit.: Prince Prigio]
Slurk, Mr.
had a “consciousness of immeasurable superiority” over others. [Br. Lit.: Pickwick Papers]
Tappertit, Simon
boasted he could subdue women with eyes. [Br. Lit.: Barnaby Rudge]

conceit

Literary an elaborate image or far-fetched comparison, esp as used by the English Metaphysical poets
References in classic literature ?
However,' said my aunt, 'I don't want to put two young creatures out of conceit with themselves, or to make them unhappy; so, though it is a girl and boy attachment, and girl and boy attachments very often - mind
In fact, to make no more words about it, I was head over heels in love with Nicolete, and I think, without conceit, I may say that Nicolete was rapidly growing rather fond of me.
For indeed, while I was in that prince's country, I could never endure to look in a glass, after mine eyes had been accustomed to such prodigious objects, because the comparison gave me so despicable a conceit of myself.
In his library he had been always sure of leisure and tranquillity; and though prepared, as he told Elizabeth, to meet with folly and conceit in every other room of the house, he was used to be free from them there; his civility, therefore, was most prompt in inviting Mr.
It is not impossible that this conceit occurred to Hawthorne before he had himself seen the Old Man of the Mountain, or the Profile, in the Franconia Notch which is generally associated in the minds of readers with The Great Stone Face.
Shyness simply means extreme sensibility, and has nothing whatever to do with self-consciousness or with conceit, though its relationship to both is continually insisted upon by the poll-parrot school of philosophy.
Our vanities differ as our noses do: all conceit is not the same conceit, but varies in correspondence with the minutiae of mental make in which one of us differs from another.
But beware how you presume on an appearance of indifference, which is nothing but conceit in disguise.
A conceit may be defined as an exaggerated figure of speech or play on words in which intellectual cleverness figures at least as largely as real emotion and which is often dragged out to extremely complicated lengths of literal application.
She with stately steps proudly advances over the field: aloft she bears her towering head, filled with conceit of her own pre-eminence, and schemes to effect her intended discovery.
Fretted conceit and suppressed envy--perhaps your fathers' conceit and envy: in you break they forth as flame and frenzy of vengeance.
Then, chuckling with his own conceit, the bee-hunter turned away from his companion, and sought a momentary relief from his misery, by imagining that so wild an idea might be realised, and fancying the manner, in which the attack would upset even the well established patience of an Indian.